10 types of arguments to use in debates and discussions
For a long time, the scientists of the mind have believed that the human being is a fundamentally rational animal, that thinks through logic.
However, this idea can be questioned, for example, every time we analyze the types of arguments we usually use to defend our points of view in debates and discussions. The argumentative fallacies make constant appearances, and many times neither we nor the interlocutor realize this.
However, this does not mean that there are no valid types of arguments through which we can contribute to debates in a solvent manner. This is a selection of the main types of arguments classified according to several criteria .
Types of arguments according to their content
First, we will look at the classes of arguments classified according to the type of content on which they are based. These distinctions allow us to better understand their nature and the way in which they are used.
1. Arguments based on values
They are arguments that are based on highlighting the ethical values that have an option , be they good or bad. This type of argument is useful if the topic you are talking about is fundamentally philosophical and moral, that is, if you talk about what should be done and what actions should be prioritized.
However, they do not serve to describe objective reality, and if they are used for this, one can fall into a kind of logical fallacy called the argument ad consecuentiam.
2. Arguments based on descriptions
A general description is a way to gather several arguments in one to defend an idea . For example, to argue in favor of the position that birds are dinosaurs, one can speak about the feathers found in many theropod fossils, about the anatomical similarities that many of them had with current birds, etc.
3. Arguments based on data
They are a class of arguments based on very specific and specific pieces of information , usually extracted from scientific research or databases. They serve to reinforce arguments, offering empirical support.
4. Arguments based on authority
In this type of argument the position that an authority defends in the subject is indicated, pointing out that it has more value than other . In many cases, it can lead to a logical fallacy: in the end, the fact that an idea is defended by a specialist does not make it true.
However, it turns out to be a consistent argument when it comes to countering a fallacy of authority. For example, if someone defends the idea that the Earth is flat because it has been said by a neighbor who reads a lot, one can retort that the true specialists on the subject defend that it is rather spherical, implying that it is necessary to provide many proofs for refute this idea since both positions are not on equal terms.
5. Arguments based on definitions
These types of arguments are not based on the functioning of the world, but in the use that is made of concepts and definitions . However, in many cases these arguments are not effective, because the meaning of words can change depending on the time and context in which they were used.
6. Arguments based on experiments
In this case, the argument is based on an experience carried out in the same place where dialogue is and that serves to support the idea defended by oneself. In addition, it is very useful to convince, since it includes a "spectacular" part that is expressed beyond the words, that is, in facts.
7. Arguments based on mental experiments
This type of argument is a mixture between the two previous ones, since it is based on an experience in which the interlocutor has to participate but is not realized in the real world. It is about imagining a situation that is progressing to a point where the only reasonable conclusion is that the idea we defend is fulfilled. For example, if someone says he could never be a friend of a foreigner, it is relatively easy to make him see the opposite through this type of argument.
Types of arguments according to the way in which they are used
If we have previously classified the types of arguments according to their content, we will now see how they can be used to show relationships between ideas
8. Indication of the fallacy
They are types of arguments in which it is indicated why the reasoning that someone has used is not valid, based on a fallacy . That is, the discourse of the other is analyzed and the parts that are themselves unfounded and misleading are highlighted.
9. Arguments of comparison
In this kind of arguments two ideas are compared to each other , to show how one of them is better than the other. They are effective in offering global valuations on plot lines.
In these arguments a series of questions are made to the interlocutor to show in real time how wrong he is in a theme. It is an exercise that reminds the Socratic dialogue, since they lead the opponent to fall into a trap that is inside his own discourse, entering into contradictions.